We took a brief look at Camerabag 2 back in February when the software was first announced. It’s now our go-to instant effects app, with considerably more flexibilty than Analog or Snapseed. It enables you to apply a variety of Hipstamatic or Instagram style effects to your photos using a cool layered interface that can fine-tune the effects to your pleasure.
To celebrate the on-going success of Camerabag 2, developers NeverCenter are giving away a Canon 5D Mark III and some free licences to their product. In order to be entered into the competition you merely have to post an image that has been altered in some way with their Camerabag 2 software and tweet the following phrase: ”Here’s my entry to win a free Canon 5D Mk III in the @Camerabag 2 #giveaway (http://bit.ly/cb2_5d)”. There are 30 day trial versions of the software available at the website so just download a PC or Mac copy and have a play with some of your images.
We also have five licences to the software to give away. In order to win one of these, simply tweet this story with the tag @geekosity and we’ll draw five names out of the hat in a couple of weeks time.
Gotta say this platform game looks brilliant. You play the part of the eponymous Stealth Bastard and it’s your job to jump and hack your way surreptitiously through 28 levels of awesomeness. Get it here.
We’ve all seen these apps before. They make bold claims about freeing up your system’s memory, leaving you more space to work in, but they don’t actually do anything apart from having a pretty interface. So I can’t say I was overwhelmed with excitment when I decided to try out this particular app, which had been floating around the top of the popular free apps section of the App Store for some time. Imagine my surprise then to discover that it actually works.
Free Memory sits in your menubar and provides a handy display of exactly how much free memory you have at any one time. If your Mac starts getting sluggish, check the memory status and you’ll probably find that something (usually Firefox) has kidnapped all your RAM and is holding it hostage. To rectify this annoying situation, just click the ‘Free Memory’ option in this tiny app, give it about 10 seconds and voila, all your wasted space recovered.
If you use memory intensive apps on your Mac then you’re going to love this utility. Programs like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, Firefox or Aperture will cheerfully eat up all your RAM making the whole system sluggish. Free Memory can recover all that wasted space with no fuss – it might be a one-trick pony, but it’s an incredibly valuable tool that no Mac power user should be without.
Tagged as the ‘Camera for the Internet’, Skitch is a note-taking app that enables you to capture, scribble and then upload and/or share images. The company was bought out by Evernote recently and the first thing they did was release the previously commercially available apps (both mobile and desktop) for free.
The Android version of Skitch is a great app to have on hand. Use it to take a photograph and then quickly add simple annotations to it. You can click and drag arrows, add text, resize elements. You can zoom and crop images, add smooth vector lines and scribbles or use the semi-opaque highlighter tool. When you’re happy with it you can share your work with with any application that accepts images or upload directly to Evernote. It’s available now in the Android Market.
Speaking for myself, I’ve always been a news junkie, but I’m prepared to accept that mobile Internet and powerful hand-held mobile devices has turned plenty of others into voracious consumers of information. The touchscreen interface lead to a reinvention of news apps that was pioneered by Pulse and Flipboard, but other apps have come along since and improved on the formula.
Taptu is like a hybrid of Pulse and an RSS feed reader. It enables you to categorise your news providers by topic and then see them all, whether newspaper, blog or magazine, in the one location. You can import your Google Reader feeds and seek out new ones you haven’t tried before. It also connects with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and scrape interesting content from them. It’s a terrific app, it’s free and you can get it here.
Time was when you had to spend some serious wonga to get the latest DJ mixes, courtesy of labels like Ministry of Sound. The digital music revolution and the Internet changed all that though and you can now listen to first rate DJ mixes 24 hours a day for the cost of nothing more than your bandwidth. DJs quickly realised that the net was a great way of getting themselves known and so services like Soundcloud and MixCloud quickly became very popular.
The MixCloud iOS app enables you to tap into the vast number of mixes online through a familiar iOS interface. You can see what’s ‘hot’ at the current time (inevitably either John Digweed or Carl Cox), browse by category (ambient, dubstep, trance etc) or listen again to any mixes you fav’d. Sound quality depends on the original mix of course, but streaming is very high quality. The only drawback to the app is that, unlike the website, you can’t skip within a mix.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to fly somewhere on your holidays, you had only one option, the travel agent. Those days are long gone now and, with online travel stores, direct sales by airlines and apps like this week’s featured freebie, the days of the high street travel agent must surely be as numbered as the independent record and book stores.
SkyScanner does just one thing – really well – it searches for airline flights. You simply choose where you are flying to and from and then hit the search button. The app will then display a list of flights from all the different airlines ordered by price, departure/arrival times, airline or duration. When you see a flight that interests you, just click on it to see the full details of the flight. If it meets your requirements you can choose from multiple booking options (eBookers, LastMinute and direct from the airline for instance) and pay up.
If we have any gripes at all it’s that the links between the app and the stores are lacking. When you click on the booking button it simply fires up your browser and takes you to that store or airline’s website – it doesn’t pre-fill any information and so you have to enter all your details again. It’s not a huge issue though, because SkyScanner is first and foremost a price checker and this is something it excels at.
When iOS5 was announced, one of the big new features was vastly improved messaging capabilities. However there are clearly many people that feel Apple haven’t gone far enough and that there’s room for third party developers in what is already a very crowded App Store market. One of those developers is PingMe, a new social messaging app that’s out now.
PingMe is primarily designed to get around the limitations of traditional text messages, not the least of which is the insane cost of texting. For this reason PingMe works on cellular or wi-fi connections. It includes a real-time receipt feature which lets you know when a message has been delivered and has a geo-location facility so you can track down nearby friends. It’s available for download in the App Store now.
There’s a real lack of good old-fashioned journalism in this day and age. Thanks to the carnivorous habits of companies like News Limited and its ilk, you have to look hard to find real stories and not bland celebrity stories or sensationalistic politically motivated guff. Thankfully there are still small pockets of resistance to the steady decline in the press.
The Guardian is a British newspaper that has defied the odds. By staying current and embracing everything the modern age of online journalism has to offer, it has not just survived but positively thrived as other newspapers fold. The paper’s iPhone app is one of the most popular news apps in the App Store and now it’s available for free on Android devices.
The app enables you to pick up to eight categories to appear on the front page, which can be placed in any order you like. You can toggle article and gallery images on or off and, if you so desire, do a full scheduled download of all articles in your chosen section for later offline reading. There’s also full multimedia support, meaning you can view videos, listen to podcasts or watch slideshows. It’s a great app, a great newspaper and a great price.
The App Store is, of course, heaving with photography apps of one kind or another. You have perennial favourites such as Hipstamatic and Camera+, social sharing apps like Instagram and Snapseed and one-trick apps like Tilt Shift Focus and Color Splash. But when a company like Autodesk release a photography app, it’s definitely worth checking out. And so, leaving aside the contrived name, I took it through its paces and found a surprisingly cool free iPhone photo app.
Pixlr-o-matic enables you to apply a range of cool effects to photos you take in the app or which are in your library. It uses the same film, flash and frame metaphor as Hipstamatic and offers a similar variety of possible looks. Films range from eye-popping colour treatments, through trendy bleached out effects and all the way to monochrome styles. The lighting effects are great, enabling you to apply bokeh, light leaks and lens flares to your photos. Once you’re happy with the look of your photo you can save it back to the library or upload to Facebook, Flickr, Imm.io, Dropbox, iTunes or email. It’s a slick app that’s well worth checking out if you’re a confirmed iPhone snapper.
Whichever hemisphere you happen to be located in, the seasons are on the change. Down here south of the equator we’re moving from winter to spring, while our northern cousins are moving from summer to autumn. Both of these seasons are the absolute best for fitness related activities such as running or cycling because you get near perfect temperatures. With that in mind I thought I’d feature a fitness app this week.
Endomondo Sports Tracker is a terrific fitness tracking app that can not only log all your activities, but offer you encouragement along the way. It can utilise your Android device’s built-in GPS to log your run or bike ride on a map, while also providing real-time feedback on time, distance, speed and calories burnt. I particularly liked the option for racing against a friend’s personal best time.
The app inlcudes support for sharing of activities on Facebook, heart monitor support and even real-time encouragement from friends. There’s a Pro version of the app available as well, which you can upgrade to if you decide this is the sports tracker for you – it features graphs, a low power mode and time and calorie goals. Not sure those extras would convince me to upgrade, but they may appeal to you.
Hunting for domain names is a pretty depressing task. Normally you have a bit of a think, scribble some word ideas down and then search for those domains on your favourite domain registration site. Occasionally you get lucky, but most of the time you spend an hour or two hunting and then inevitably end up doing for the domain you thought of first.
Well fret no more, because the excellent Domain Name Analyser takes all the pain out of domain hunting. It can search for domains based on keywords and templates and can check for the availability of anything it turns up at the same time. It can search on a huge variety of international domains and you can add to the list if required. It’ll also check domains about to expire, past expiry or even newly registered.
There have been a few occasions where I have regretted purchasing software, but the number one occasion on which I mutter under my breath and fling an exotic curse or two in the direction of software companies, is when something I paid good money for gets released for free. Skitch is just such an app – I bought it in the App Store about six months ago and now it’s in there for free because Evernote bought it. My loss is your gain and the fact that it’s now free does not detract from the fact that Skitch is a great app.
Skitch is a screen-grab tool of the same type as LittleSnapper. It enables you to grab fullscreen, app or Finder windows, frames, cross-haired selection or cam images either via hotkey or the menubar icon. Once you’ve got your image in Skitch’s view window, you can manipulate and/or modify it and then transfer it somewhere else. You get a selection of drawing tools to doodle on your image with (boxes, circles, speech bubbles, text boxes etc) and useful features such as rotate, resize and crop.
Once you’re happy with your annotated image, you can transfer it somewhere else. You can save it out to your hard drive, email it, Bluetooth it and upload to Evernote, or Flickr or any FTP service. Skitch is the sort of app that’s going to have wide appeal – if you see something online you can grab a screenshot, annotate it and get it online with minimum fuss. It was a good deal when it cost $20, now that it’s free you’d have to be crazy not to grab it.
There’s been some real innovation lately with Twitter clients, with slick interfaces that reflect the nature of the micro-blogging environment. The best Twitter clients enable you to flick easily between trends, check mentions and retweets simply and navigate your way through the users that you’re following.
TweetComb is a great looking and beautifully designed free Twitter client for Android Honeycomb. The main Dashboard screen is split three ways and can display your Timeline, Mentions, Direct Messages, Profile, Search and Favourites as you wish. It’s a great interface for swift and efficient navigation of all those accounts that you’re following.
The app supports the usual Twitter goodies such as Bit.ly, Twitlonger, Twitpic and yFrog and updates in the background so you always get the freshest feeds when you check back. Tweetcomb can be set to notify you when a fresh tweet appears in the timeline, but if you’re following more than a couple of people this can get annoying. It’s a great Twitter client for tablet users, although it’s somewhat disappointing that it’s only available for Honeycomb and not any earlier iterations of Android..
In the past, during previous released of Mac operating systems, the ability to customise the desktop was built right into the code. As the years passed, however, Apple locked its operating system down more and more and it soon became possible to update only with specialist tweaking applications. With Lion, if you want to fully customise your icons you’ll need CandyBar, but if you want to customise the rest of the desktop then you’ll need an app like GeekTool.
Designed to bring system information directly to the desktop, GeekTool is an extendible PrefPane that enables you to display various kinds of information on your desktop through three default plug-ins: file plugin, image mode and shell mode. While it’s perfectly possible to get deep into the customisation yourself, through some basic coding, you can also download pre-written setups for GeekTool called GeekLets.
To get an idea of what’s possible, have a look at the screenshot library on the official website. These show-off the extra large clocks, calendars and system information that you can embed directly on the desktop. So if you’ve had a hankering to step beyond the default wallpaper, icons and desktop furniture that Apple supply, you can download it directly from the app store and tweak to your heart’s content.
HydraCoach; calculates your need for hydration (don't know if I need this but it's a nifty gadget).
This is a hybrid bike with not only exceptional performance but stunning aesthetics as well. The motor power and battery capacity is well over the industry standard and a truly futuristic look will sure attract some eyeballs around you. The Terminus is the ultimate trail-machine for the ones who appreciate the best availa
Camalien LED concept watch changes its colors depending on your surroundings - Designers Peter and Sam have come up with a concept watch they’ve dubbed the Camalien. It’s an LED watch with a sleek design that also comes with a camera built into it that will record your surroundings and will change the watch’s color accordingly. | #Design #Watches |